The Norman Transcript

Columns

December 30, 2012

The little yellow motorcycle that could

NORMAN — The motorcycle that my father purchased second-hand at a west Norman garage sale was not something a teen-aged boy would want to be seen riding around the city.

It was summer yellow, with knobby tires, an automatic clutch and two sets of gears. The mirrors rose from the handlebars like deer antlers and the back seat resembled the luggage rack on our 64 Rambler Cross Country.

The accompanying half-shell helmet had a plastic bubble visor that dipped down onto your nose making the rider look like he was preparing to weld something big. It was faster than my Schwinn but not by much. Top speed was about 50 miles per hour. We usually waited until dark to zoom around the countryside or take into the D&D motorcycle shop for tune-ups.

The worst part of that Honda Trail 90 was the frame. It was a step-through, like a woman’s bicycle. Hardly the macho bike to park in front of the Cubs Den at Central Junior High in the early 1970s. A kid could get beat up pretty quick that way.

n n n

However, one snowy day, not unlike this past Christmas Day, the Trail 90 was the envy of all my rowdy neighborhood friends.

Schools were canceled. The roads were a sheet of ice so we went sledding in the hills of east Norman. The best hill may have been 12th Avenue NE, north of Rock Creek Road, near the highest point in the county.

We figured out the little Trail 90 with its low-range gears, knobby tires and space for a husky person to sit on the luggage rack and keep the tire from sliding was ideal for pulling wooden sleds full of riders back up the hills.

We could link half a dozen sleds with riders holding onto the feet in front of them with the first one holding the feet of the husky boy sitting backwards on the luggage rack. It would pull them straight up the hill for yet another run.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014

  • Settlers found opportunities in red dirt fields

    There are few constants in families where the teenagers and soon-to-be teenagers outnumber their parents. One things holds true at my home: Nobody gets out of bed in the morning before dear old Dad....

    April 20, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

Video
Facebook